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African American History Month Spotlight Image

Spotlight

February Is African American History Month

African Americans have made many contributions to the culture and achievements of the United States throughout history. Yet, while we celebrate a long history and many accomplishments, we must continue addressing disparities in health status and access for this population.

The CMS Office of Minority Health welcomes your participation in promoting observances throughout the year to raise awareness about health issues affecting people across our nation. Share our resources on prevention, health equity, and research about health disparities.

February Is African American History Month

During African American History Month, the CMS Office of Minority Health celebrates the history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans to our nation. We also recognize and must focus on the health status and access challenges that disproportionately affect African Americans every day.

African Americans between the ages of 18 to 49 years are twice as likely to die from heart disease compared with whites, and those ages 35 to 64 years are 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure. Rates of diabetes, stroke, asthma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and influenza are also higher, while fewer people have insurance. The good news is that overall, the death rate for African Americans has decreased. CMS is focused on making concentrated efforts to end these disparities, while helping millions of African Americans with health care access and disease prevention and control through Medicare and Medicaid.

Recognizing American Heart Month

The CMS Office of Minority Health also recognizes February as American Heart Month. We will continue to work in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement the strategies of the Million Hearts® initiative, which aims to address heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases for all Americans. Through both observances, the CMS Office of Minority Health is focused on increasing awareness of the impact cardiovascular disease and implementing strategies towards risk reduction and control. To access tools and resources to support heart health in your community, visit Million Hearts®.

Below are additional resources you can use within your organization and community during the month and beyond:

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